Making Your Suburban Investment Home More Pet-friendly to Attract Millennial Buyers

Do you remember buying your first home? I searched and searched, driving up and down neighborhoods near my workplace looking for real estate agents’ signs posted out front. Every weekend for months, I toured a handful of houses. But, after a while, I started to feel disheartened. Nothing felt just right. Then, I found the one. It was a small craftsman-style cottage in an older but well-kept neighborhood. The backyard was small but sunny, perfect for a BBQ and a cozy patio set. But, you know the thing that attracted me most? Don’t laugh, but it was the built-in surround sound in the living room. I was in love!

Nowadays, when I talk to our HomeVestors® franchisees who invest in real estate, I encourage them to plan property renovations for the newest generation of homebuyers looking to fall for theirfirst house. Millennials are a swiftly growing proportion of the market, after all. While they tend to be older than previous generations when making the leap to purchase a home, they have also been the largest group of recent homebuyers for three years running. While they may choose to rent in urban areas while going to college or starting their career, most are not staying in city centers when ready to buy. Often, finding a comfortable price point is what drives their home search, and so it follows that the younger the buyer, the older the home they purchase.

In short: Millennials are the perfect market opportunity for suburban investors.

Make it Pet-Friendly, not Child-Friendly

One of the most crucial steps when buying and selling homes is to take the time to discover what a property needs, and then do what’s necessary to be able to resell a home that buyers want. Of course, it pays to be cost-conscious when renovating an investment house, but there are a few budget-friendly things to keep in mind that can appeal particularly to Millennial buyers and make them feel at home

Investors selling suburban starter homes could gain a market edge by catering to Millennials’ affinity for their pets. Just as they are delaying getting married, this population is also tending to choose pets over children as they first start their careers. According to the latest figures, 35% of millennials adopt pets, and 57% of Millennial households own a dog. Despite this, making a home pet-friendly is often an afterthought for investors when getting ready to put their property on the market, which can be a mistake. Obvious (and sometimes expensive) pet considerations like fenced yards aside, there are a number of other simple and affordable pet-friendly renovations you can and should consider to indulge this growing market:

  • Hard surface flooring.It goes without saying that nobody wants green shag carpet anymore, so if you have to replace the flooring anyway, choose wood, tile, laminate, or even vinyl instead. It makes cleaning up after pets easier for busy young professionals.
  • Avoid vertical blinds with tassels.These types of window coverings pose choking and strangulation hazards to pets. Remember, pets are like children to Millennials, so details matter. And, they will not likely be financially positioned to redecorate soon after buying your property.
  • Enclose the trash storage area. While Millennials are protective when it comes to their pets, their overloaded professional life makes them also time-conscious. If a pet gets into the trash, they might chew on bones or other dangerous food waste. Even worse, they might string waste all over the yard. Who wants to pick up that mess while already dressed and ready to go to work?
  • Petscaping the yard. Fleas and ticks are not the only outdoor menaces that Millennials worry will harm their pets. Toxic plants in the yard send cats and dogs to the vet every year. That’s not just heartbreaking for Millennial pet-lovers, it’s expensive. Make sure to remove poisonous landscaping and only re-plant with pet-friendly varieties. Look online to find out what’s harmful and what’s not on the ASPCA website.

All of these things are pretty small in the grand scheme of a home renovation project, but can make a big difference to the Millennial buyer who puts their pet’s needs first.

Getting More Support for Selling Your Investment Property

Knowing what will add value to your investment property and maximize your return on investment can be overwhelming. We tend to fixate on the bigger-ticket items like plumbing and electrical systems. However, when you consider the lifestyle and values of Millennials—a significant target market for rehabbed starter homes—it often only takes a handful of humble changes to convert prospects to buyers. I didn’t learn these ins and outs solely on my own, and our independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisees also benefit from the wealth of experience that our dedicated Development Agents can provide. To join our family, request more information or speak to a member of our team today.

Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.

Photo Credit: Flickr CC user /kallu.

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